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Jim Thome and the Hall of Fame



By Mike Silva ~ October 9th, 2010. Filed under: Hall of Fame, Mike Silva.

I love to debate the Hall of Fame. Usually we reserve it for the offseason, especially during the late December/January time frame when the holidays slow the hot stove, and Hall of Fame selections are upon us. Andy Pettitte is an obvious conversation (we have been having it here for two years), because of his solid outing the other night. However, I believe one of the more intriguing players in the Yankees/Twins ALDS is Jim Thome.

This year at age 39 he had an OPS over 1.000 in just 108 games. Even after all these years he clearly has 40 homer/100 RBI potential each season. I count about 11 Hall of Fame worthy seasons in Thome’s career. Earlier this month, over at Twinkie Talk, they used advanced statistics to compare Thome’s career numbers to other members of the 500 home run club, where he stacked up well to Hall of Famers like Harmon Killebrew and Frank Robinson. If you look at the top 500 positional players using career Wins Above Replacement, Thome is number 68, ahead of a number of Hall of Fame players. You can’t even use the “anti DH” argument since he’s played over 1,500 games at first or third. Yes, his defense wasn’t stellar, but not everyone in the Hall of Fame has won a gold glove.

If Thome retired right now this would be his career numbers:

Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB
20 Seasons 2392 9803 7982 1534 2216 428 26 589 1624 1679 2395 .278 .404 .559 .963 147 4463
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 10/9/2010.

Thome, just like every other start the past twenty years, will have to have the PED Era attached to his numbers. There never has been any indication that Thome was a user, and with the stricter testing he still has produced, albeit as a DH, into his late thirties. He also has never had a big postseason moment for a championship team, or won an MVP. That will undoubtedly sway some voters.

Personally I would vote for Thome. The raw compiled numbers are right up there with some of the greats in the game. If you look at his numbers in his prime years (1995-2003) he is right up there with Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., Jeff Bagwell, and Edgar Martinez. I believe all those individuals should be in the Hall as well.

If I had a vote, Thome would get mine for the Hall of Fame.

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Mike Silva has hosted sports shows on 107.1 FM Champions ESPN Radio Long Island ,1240 AM WGBB , Blog Talk Radio and live from Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant. He’s also built and maintained two popular social media hubs: New York Baseball Digest and Sports Media Watchdog. Mike has broken national and local stories, as well as been mentioned on the YES Network, SNY.tv, WFAN, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, NY Daily News, New York Magazine, Journal News and the NY Post. Contact Mike professionally at mikesilvamedia.com

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1 Response to Jim Thome and the Hall of Fame

  1. Christopher Masiello

    Mike,
    I agree. He has been an offensive force for his entire career.
    I say he’s in.
    Chris

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